Thursday, July 9, 2009

teapot progress, blueberries & dolphins at sunset

I made a little progress on the teapot that I showed you in stage one a few weeks ago. It takes me more time to figure out how I want to finish things than the doing itself. How wide do I want the edging, should I quilt it and finish the edge or leave the soft frays? My friend says she won't use it because she doesn't want it to get dirty so it is destined for a wall hanging and I had started out making a humble potholder. Any of you sewer crafters out there that have finishing ideas, please let me know.

The weather has been too lovely to do too much inside the walls the last few days...the real wall hangings are out of doors; a lovely view in every direction. After a bit of gardening I set out for a walk with the doggie, but a tender paw turned us back. I did come inside to

wash and eat the first handful of a little blueberry bush I planted last year. This is a 3.25 inch plate...a very small serving, but they were tasty. I ate fresh strawberries from the garden too and later chard. After dinner we went into the post office and then swung past the beach in Carmel.

We parked the instant we saw dolphins leaping near the shoreline. Some friendly tourists from Europe ensconced on a bench for the coming sunset asked what kind of dolphins they were. "Hmm, well, I think they are just regular dolphins, you know, common dolphins."
Good answer, huh? When I got home I googled and read about the type of dolphins who come in the Monterey Bay area. I may have given the right answer out of my ignorance, but basically what I learned is various kinds visit here and it will take paying close attention to be sure.

This is one picture Mark got of one of them... Their leaps and my camera skills didn't match up.

Given where we saw them, it could have been the Bottlenose Dolphin -Tursiops truncatus which in this area is apparently where they are seen, along the immediate shoreline next to sandy beaches surfing in the breakers. And there are smaller Harbor Porpoise Phocena phocoena that also prefer to be close to shore, are too shy to chase boats and travel alone or in small groups. I did only see a few dolphin this evening, not a large school as I have sometimes seen. The Harbor Porpoise apparently have grayish backs with a triangular gray dorsal fin at mid-back. But then I read about common dolphins, and it is the right time of year for them for they come when it’s warm. Common dolphin tend to occur in large schools… the dorsal fin is described as tall and slightly recurved and either all dark or only pale in the center. Maybe that is what I saw, common long beaked dolphins.

Whoever they were, I was delighted to see them. I was also grateful those folks made me think about who it was I might have seen. It's ever so easy to take glories around us for granted. I suspect the travelers will also read about dolphins when they get home, looking for a better answer than the one I gave them…why they're regular dolphins, you know, the common ones.

Common dolphins surfing in the setting sun can make for an uncommon day. I am sorry I didn't get any pictures of them ...but here's my photo of the sunset to share with you.



Suzenne said...

I think of you OFTEN from Ocean Beach. Our waves at the surf might have been together far out -- like we are HA!

Katie (Nature ID) said...

Jeannette, your comment about "common dolphins" is a hoot! Oy, I can totally relate to leaps and camera skills not matching up. I have such a hard time telling the difference from a distance. Here's a link that you might find interesting (and, yes, we do have common dolphins - I did not know that was a real name!):

My sister-in-law is a math professor at Reed College in Portland and is an incredibly prolific quilter (I don't know where she, or you, finds the time between gardening and writing books and papers!). She gave us a a custom-specified quilt for our wedding. I wanted to hang it on the wall, because it was so pretty. She didn't approve. It is now well-used and well-loved.